17 April 2007
Female City trader seeks compensation for sexual discrimination
A woman City trader is taking legal action against one of Europe's biggest banks after her boss told her to do the washing up.
Brentwood resident Katherine Tofeji, 38, is suing the French banking giant BNP Paribas for £1.35 million alleging that she was subjected to a catalogue of sexist behaviour over her time as an employee.
Among the allegations made by unmarried mother Ms Tofeji, who is being represented by solicitors Russell, Jones & Walker, are that her bonus of £70,000 was reduced to £40,000 after she became pregnant and that she was told that she could not return to her job when once she had given birth.
Meanwhile, it is also claimed that she was told to "get a little bit closer to a client…because he fancies you", while she was attending a company dinner, and that her co-workers had made comments about how she would look in a bikini.
Furthermore, she also alleges that her request to cut her working week to four days so as to look after her young daughter was denied.
Samantha Mangwana, Miss Tofeji's solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker, said: "My client's health and career prospects have been seriously damaged as a result of an outdated mindset that puts barriers in the way of career women who have babies and return to work.
"In taking this case, we want to highlight that such outdated attitudes will not be tolerated. Employers have to wake up to the reality that working mothers are properly entitled to flexible working arrangements and should not be made to suffer for making valid requests for flexible working."